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Const. Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked will;
K. Phi. Peace, lady; pause, or be more temperate :
Trumpet sounds. Enter Citizens upon the Walls.
England, for itself:
K. Phi. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's subjects, Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle
K. John. For our advantage ;- Therefore, hear us first. These flags of France, that are advanced here Before the cye and prospect of your town, Have hither march'd to your endamagement: The cannons have their bowels full of wrath ; And ready mounted are they, to spit forth Their iron indignation ’gainst your walls : All preparation for a bloody siege And merciless proceeding, by these French, Confronts your city's eyes, your winking gates; And but for our approach, those sleeping stones, That as a waist do girdle you about, By the compulsion of their ordnance By this time from their fixed beds of lime Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made For bloody power to rush upon your peace. But, on the sight of us, your lawful king, Who painfully, with much expedient march, Have brought a countercheck before your gates,
a To cry aim. See note in “ Two Gentlemen of Verona,' Act III., Scene 1.
b Confronts your city's eyes. The original edition has comfort your city's eyes, which is, in part, a misprint, although comfort might be used by John in irony. The later editions read confront, after Rowe. Preparation is here the nominative, and therefore we use confronts.
To save unscratch'd your city's threaten’d cheeks,-
K. Phi. When I have said, make answer to us both.
a Your king, &c. We have here restored the old reading, in which “your king is the nominative to “ craves.” In all the modern editions we read
“ And let us in, your king ; whose labour'd spirits,
Crave harbourage,” &c. b It is to be observed that “forweary” and “weary” are the same; and that “forwearied” may be used, not as a participle requiring an auxiliary verb, but as a verb neuter. “Our spirits wearied in this action” would be correct, even in modern construction.
c Owesowns. Vol. IV.
Which here we came to spout against your town,
Cit. In brief, we are the king of England's subjects ;
K. John. Acknowledge then the king, and let me in.
Cit. That can we not : but he that proves the king,
K. John. Doth not the crown of England prove the king ?
Bast. Bastards, and else.
Cit. Till you compound whose right is worthiest,
K. John. Then God forgive the sin of all those souls,
K. Phi. Amen, Amen !Mount, chevaliers ! to arms!
Bast. St. George, that swindg’d the dragon, and e'er since Sits on his horseback b at mine hostess' door,
a Rounder. This is the English of the original. The modern editions have turned the word into the French roundure.
b Sits on his horseback. Shakspere might have found an example for the expression in North’s • Plutarch,'—one of his favourite books: “ He commanded his captains to set out their bands to the field, and he himself took his horseback."
Teach us some fence !-Sirrah, were I at home,
Peace ; no more.
K. John. Up higher to the plain; where we 'll set forth, In best appointment, all our regiments.
Bast. Speed then, to take advantage of the field.
K. Phi. It shall be so ;-[to LEWIS) and at the other hill Command the rest to stand,—God, and our right! [Exeunt.
SCENE II.---The same.
Alarums and Excursions; then a Retreat. Enter a French
Herald, with Trumpets, to the Gates.
Enter an English Herald, with Trumpets.
And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen,* come
Huberta Heralds, from off our towers we might behold,
Enter, at one side, King John, with his Power, ELINOR,
BLANCH, and the Bastard ; at the other, King Philip, LEWIS, AUSTRIA, and Forces.
K. John. France, hast thou yet more blood to cast away? Say, shall the current of our right roam on,' Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment, Shall leave his native channel, and o'erswell With course disturb’d even thy confining shores, Unless thou let his silver water keep A peaceful progress to the ocean?
K. Phi. England, thou hast not sav’d one drop of blood, In this hot trial, more than we of France; Rather, lost more : And by this hand I swear,
2 Hubert. Without any assigned reason the name of this speaker has been altered by the modern editors to Citizen. The folio distinctly gives this, and all the subsequent speeches of the same person, to the end of the act, to Hubert. The proposition to the kings to reconcile their differences by the marriage of Lewis and Blanch would appear necessarily to come from some person in authority; and it would seem to have been Shakspere's intention to make that person Hubert de Burgh, who occupies so conspicuous a place in the remainder of the play. In the third act John says to Hubert,
“thy voluntary oath,
Lives in this bosom.“ It might be his “voluntary oath as a citizen of Angiers, to John, which called for this expression. We, therefore, retain the name as in the original.
The editor of the second folio substituted run, which reading has been continued. Neither the poetry nor the sense appear to have gained by the fancied improvement.
b Roam on.